Thursday, February 27, 2014
I recently had a run in with a man (two men, actually) that showed me a tiny preview of how people outside the 'club' see children. It hurts me to even think about it. I don't really want to. I wish I could forget. I had Everly with me. She's 22 months old. She is my firecracker, but is as sweet as sugar when she wants to be. I can see now my faults in the situation. I was on an airplane going to Atlanta, for very selfish reasons. Our seat was right in between the two men in black. Once in our seat, the one on the aisle proclaimed, "I hope that kid is quiet because I have a busy day tomorrow." He actually said that (or something like it), out loud. The guy against the window sat quietly eating his fruit snacks. Everly tried to engage both of the men on different occasions, neither of which would even look at her or smile an wave. Things started getting interesting when it started getting late. The lights were dim. We watched movies on the Kindle, colored, sang songs, read a book, I let her nurse ALL she wanted. The seats are narrow, and although I tried very hard to keep her busy body and feet from touching the men, it did happen. I'm grateful that she didn't know what was going on. Every time either of them got brushed or bumped, it was a scene. The man on the aisle would nearly come out of his skin. I could imagine him yelling in fright, as if a spider was staring him in the face or if someone had caused him physical harm. The window guy would mumble inappropriate things under his breath. But when E didn't go to sleep, those mumblings turned into a full force, man size, temper tantrums. He would throw things against the bulkhead. His hat. Trash. Whatever he had in his hands. He would curse me. He would curse Everly. At this point, some of you will say, "Why didn't you move?" It was a full flight. I did talk to a flight attendant. I tried. No one really knew there was a problem unless you were sitting within earshot. Or really paying attention. She never cried. The things that bother me the most are maybe a bit crazy. The general intolerance. The inhumanity. You never know what anyone is going through, and I was shocked at the lack of response from other passengers. The ones that KNEW and chose not to say anything. Believe me, I don't need anyone to take up for me. I do pretty good at fighting my own battles, but the looks of sympathy from others around us angers me as I look back. They knew that there was a problem, and made a conscious decision to do nothing. I said nothing throughout this whole ordeal. Beginning to end, I was silent. It was one of those times that I absolutely do not regret my inaction. I could have said "I'm Sorry" a thousand times, and it would have meant nothing to either of them. It more than likely would have started a larger scale 'adult' conversation that MAY have escalated into one of us being hauled off the airplane in handcuffs or a gurney. So, if you're reading this and thinking I'm the biggest asshole on the planet for bringing my kid on an airplane...yeah, I accept some responsibility. I regret putting myself and my child in a situation that had the potential to turn into such a mess. Why do I feel like compassion takes a back seat to comfort these days? Why is it so hard for people to look past their own garbage and smile at a child? I still TRY and rationalize the situation. Maybe the aisle guy never had contact with kids and didn't know how to respond to having a child in such close proximity. Maybe the window guy had a mental disorder. Maybe, just maybe they were both just assholes that need a good old fashioned ass whooping.